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Toronto – February 18, 2016 – UFCW Canada activists stood shoulder to shoulder with community members and volunteers across the country to take part in the February 14 Annual Memorial Marches in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
In Toronto, hundreds of activists gathered at the Toronto Police Headquarters during the 11th Annual Strawberry Ceremony, standing in solidarity to demand meaningful action from Canada's ongoing national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Similar events took place in Vancouver and Calgary, where UFCW Canada activists joined local residents and community organizations in demonstrations delivering a unified message – that violence against women is always unacceptable.
The ceremonies are some of the many solidarity events that take place every year on February 14. The first vigil occurred over 20 years ago in Vancouver's downtown east side. It was organized to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and to demand action on this issue from governments at all levels.
The message from this year's gatherings was loud and clear: once Canada's national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women is complete, governments must take serious and meaningful steps to address the plight of Indigenous women in this country. The February 14 events also demanded justice on other issues facing Canada's Indigenous population, such as access to clean water and education.